12 June 2002
A Prayer of Jesus
I thank thee, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to babes; yea, Father, for such was thy gracious will.
The Hallowed Name

By Edgar Jones

 I will tell of thy name to my brethren. . ..(Psalm 22:22)

This subject has already attracted wide attention on the World Wide Web.  Just enter "name of god" in your internet search engine and see for yourself.  Were this paper of the same genre it would not be justified; it is not of that genre.  I do not propose here to educate you as to the myriad names of God that have been generated from historical and scriptural studies, or to urge you to return to the Hebrew names in your references to Him.  To the contrary, I urge you to forsake all the ancient names and turn to the only one that Jesus used and instructed his disciples to use when they spoke of him, or to him in prayer.


A. Jesus was intensely interested in the divine name.

This is obvious from the things that he said about it.   We have these examples from a single chapter:

[6] "I have manifested thy name to the men whom thou gavest me out of the world; thine they were, and thou gavest them to me, and they have kept thy word.
[11] And now I am no more in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to thee. Holy Father, keep them in thy name, which thou hast given me, that they may be one, even as we are one.
[12] While I was with them, I kept them in thy name, which thou hast given me; I have guarded them, and none of them is lost but the son of perdition, that the scripture might be fulfilled.
[26] I made known to them thy name, and I will make it known, that the love with which thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them."
In these four brief verses we learn the following:
1. Jesus manifested (made known) 'thy name' to his disciples. (v. 6)

2. The Father gave his name to Jesus to reveal to his disciples. (v. 11)

3. The Father keeps the disciples "in thy name." (v. 11)

4. This keeping "in thy name" is a basis of unity among the disciples. (v. 11)

5. Jesus made the name of the Father known to the disciples. (v. 26)

6. Jesus continues to make the Father's name known to his disciples. (v. 26)

7. Knowing this name is the key to having God's love, and Jesus, within. (v. 26)

B. So, what is that wonderful name that accomplishes so many marvellous things?

We can begin by stating what that name is not, drawing the obvious conclusion from the above verses.  This name, given to Jesus by the Father and made known, or "manifested" to his disciples, cannot be identified with any of the many names applied to him in the Old Testament.  It is not YHVH, YHWH, JAH, ADON, ADONAI, JEHOVAH, EL, ELOHIM -- it cannot be any of those or their many forms -- none of them whatsoever -- for the simple reason that these were names that were already well known among the Jews and to the Jewish disciples of Jesus.  The name of the Father that Jesus "made known" to the disciples was a name previously unknown to them.  He could not "manifest" to them any name that was already manifest.

This word, "manifest" from John 17:6 is rendered from the Greek, phanerosa, which, being interpreted, is the first aorist form of the verb that means "to make manifest, or visible, or known what has been hidden or unknown.1

Furthermore, concerning the Tetagrammaton and all the other name forms for God utilized in the Old Testament, we can say that the gospels never quote Jesus as using a single one of them.  There is one exception, that we will visit shortly.  Jesus did not address God personally by any of those names, nor did he refer to him by means of any of them.

My dear readers, have you given this a single thought?  Do you know the name of your God?  If you do not know his name, then you do not know God.  Neither do you know Jesus, for if you knew Jesus, he would have manifested the name of God to you!

I am going to designate that name shortly, but that will have no significance for you unless you are truly a disciple of Jesus, for he is the one who must "manifest" the name.  Otherwise, you are bound to reject it.

C. God's name as manifested by Jesus is, as one should expect, a hallowed name.

This is the way Jesus instructed his disciples to begin their prayers:

Matt.6[9] Pray then like this: Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
Let us take a moment to investigate the meaning of this word, "hallowed."  It is rendered from the Greek, hagiasthato.  This means to "separate from things profane and dedicate to God; to consecrate, and so render inviolable.1

Though the name is different, the meaning is the same as that presented in the Law, when Moses wrote;

[32] And you shall not profane my holy name, but I will be hallowed among the people of Israel; I am the LORD who sanctify you, . . .
The name used by Moses here, and capitalized "LORD" is the Tetragrammation, YHVH.  But we have already seen that this cannot be the name Jesus was defining as "hallowed."

So, what is the hallowed name that Jesus manifested to the disciples?

Well, how did Jesus address God?  Would that not be his name? Here are a few of the many instances in which Jesus addressed God:

[25] At that time Jesus declared, "I thank thee, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to babes;
[26] yea, Father, for such was thy gracious will.

[39] And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, "My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt."
[42] Again, for the second time, he went away and prayed, "My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, thy will be done."

Jesus also designated God, impersonally, throughout the Greek gospels as "Theos."  Here are some examples from a single chapter:
[8] "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
[9] "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
[34] But I say to you, Do not swear at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God,
Theos is the word that the Greek translation of the Old Testament (the Septuagint, that was in common use in First Century Palestine) placed in place of all the Old Testament designations of God.  It therefore made them all the same by translating them into the same Greek Word.  Therefore this, Theos, could not have been the name of God that Jesus made known to his disciples, because everybody already knew it also!

And how did Jesus refer to God in relation to his disciples? Here are some instances from a single chapter:

[1] "Beware of practicing your piety before men in order to be seen by them; for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.
[4] so that your alms may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
[6] But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
[8] Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
And how did Jesus teach his disciples to address God?
[9] Pray then like this: Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
Is the light beginning to break through?  I thought it would!

That holy name that God gave to Jesus and that he manifested to his disciples is "Father."

D. Now we will take a quick look at some obvious objections.

1. That name was not unknown to them.  Everybody knew the word, "father."
Yes, but they did not know it as a name of God.  It was God's name that Jesus manifested, or made known, remember?
 2. "Father" isn't a name.  It's a title or relationship.
Yes, but it is also a name. The dictionary defines a name as

                     1 a : a word or phrase that constitutes the distinctive
                     designation of a person or thing2

So, when "Father" becomes the word that constitutes the distinctive designation of a person -- God -- it is his name.

Furthermore, the scripture elsewhere designates a similar title as a name:

[13] And when it was day, he called his disciples, and chose from them twelve, whom he named apostles;
3. "Father" is seen throughout the Old Testament.  This was not unknown!
Yes, but again, not as the personal name or designation of God.  The Israelites were never taught to designate God as their personal "Father."  They did not know him as "my Father."
4. Everybody applies this word to their male parent and always has.  How, then, can it be hallowed?
Aha!  I knew you were going to raise this objection.  Let us permit Jesus himself to respond to it:
[9] And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven.
Need more be said?
5. Then, there was that objection that the Jews raised so vigorously to the idea of calling God "Father."  This, of course, also confirms that they did not know him by that name:
[18] This was why the Jews sought all the more to kill him, because he not only broke the sabbath but also called God his Father, making himself equal with God.

Do you really want to pursue this objection?  I forewarn you, you will be amazed at where it may lead!

E. The One Exception

We acknowledged above that there was one exception to Jesus' rule of never addressing God by his Old Testament names.  I promised to come back to it, and here it is:

[46] And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, "Eli, Eli, la'ma sabach-tha'ni?" that is, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?"
The exception is easily explained.  He was quoting scripture, the first line of Psalm 22 in his native Aramaic.3

F. We Need Confirmation

We have reached a radical conclusion, and it would be very helpful if we could find a further teaching of Jesus to confirm it.  What follows is not an esoteric revelation, but the simplest and most universally common perception imaginable.  It is for this reason that Jesus simply made certain statements within the concept of a wider Truth according to which every one can understand.

The human family unit has a father (one father) and a mother and children.  All generaly take as their name the name of the father, and that name represents something to the world, depending in the character of the father.  If he is a hateful man, the children do not bear his name with pride, and may even seek a name change.  There is no peace in that family.  But if he is a loving person, as is usually the case since most men are by nature lovers of their own offspring, then the whole family is bound together in this unifying love, being loved by the parents and loving the parents and loving one another.  The children bear the name of the father with great satisfaction, and such a family is always closely bound in love.  Thus, having a loving parent, as a child I bore the name of Charley Jones, an honorable man, with much satisfaction.

This being the case in the human family, how much more so in the case of the divine family, which has one Father, even God . . . yes, God who is love personified and whose name is . . .  Father!

John 8[42] Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love me, for I proceeded and came forth from God; I came not of my own accord, but he sent me.
When God is our Father, we love Jesus, and we love one another, for God is love.
John.17[11] And now I am no more in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to thee. Holy Father, keep them in thy name, which thou hast given me, that they may be one, even as we are one.
When we are abiding in his name, which is Father, we partake of his love, and we love one another with all the binding power of the love of God.  We are one family, one people in the family of the Father..
John.17[26] I made known to them thy name, and I will make it known, that the love with which thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.
When we abide in the family of the Father as his dear children, we know his name, and through that name, "Father" we have access to the love of the Father, the very love according to which He loved Jesus our Lord.  When we abide in this love, we are very desirous of pleasing him, and are obedient to him in all things.  The Love of the Father is in his children, who are known by his name.

 And how is this?

John 14[22] Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, "Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us, and not to the world?"
[23] Jesus answered him, "If a man loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.
[24] He who does not love me does not keep my words; and the word which you hear is not mine but the Father's who sent me.
It is very important to accept that this only works, and the Hallowed Name is truly hallowed -- when God is the only Father -- for his children have but one Father.  When men continue to recognize human ties based on the earthly parent, the result is that they are divided against each other, through belonging to separate families, even when they profess to love one another.  One family will have malice towards another, or groups of families will ally against other groups, and there will be war and rumors of war, Christian against Christian.  Therefore we see how Christianity has utterly failed to represent either Jesus or the Father in the world.

Have you noticed that the early disciples did not acknowledge surnames taken from their parent?  But if we had surnames in the family of the Father, what might they be?

Judy Fatherschild?   John Fatherschild?
Now you know the hallowed name of God.  OR DO YOU?

1. Thayers Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, reprinted from the Fourth Edition, in June, 1996. Hendrickson Publisher, Inc., P. O. Box 3473, Peabody, Massachusetts, 01961-3473

2. Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, Tenth Edition, Copyright 1993 by Merriam-Webster Corporation.

3. (´l, l´m sbk´thn; ´l, lä´mä säbäkh´thän) (KEY)  or Eloi, Eloi, lama
   sabach-thani? (´loi; ´loi) (KEY)  [Eli, Eloi: Heb. or Aramaic,=Lord; lama
   sabachthani?: Aramaic,=why hast thou forsaken me?], in the New Testament, words of
   Jesus on the cross. The Greek text retains and translates the original, which is
   seemingly a quotation of Psalm 22.
The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. Copyright © 2001 Columbia University Press.

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